World

By 2050, Most Muslims Will Live In This Country

| by Nik Bonopartis
Angkor Wat, One of the World's Largest Hindu Temples.Angkor Wat, One of the World's Largest Hindu Temples.

By 2050, India will have the world's largest Muslim population.

India will remain primarily Hindu, but because of higher birthrates among Muslims, experts project India will overtake Indonesia as the nation with the most Muslims, according to the Pew Research Center.

In 2010, Indonesia had about 210 million Muslims to India's 176 million, the data shows. But projections estimate India's Muslim population will balloon to more than 310 million. For context, the U.S. has a total population of about 318 million in 2016.

The Pew report, dubbed "The Future of World Religions," also estimates Islam will rival Christianity as the world's dominant religion, almost matching the older Abrahamic religion by number of adherents.

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The study also yielded some interesting facts about the U.S. and Europe. While the number of unaffiliated people -- atheists, nontheists, agnostics and others not tied to a particular faith -- is steadily rising in increasingly secularized nations, the unaffiliated group will be a shrinking percentage of the world's population. The unaffiliated gains in countries like the U.S., France and the U.K. won't match the rising number of adherents to Islam and Hinduism, according to Pew.

And while Islam rises in India, the number of Hindus in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will double. For Saudi Arabia, Pew attributes the increase to migration, with forecasts projecting another million Hindus will move to the Middle Eastern nation in the coming decades.

In Pakistan, by contrast, Hinduism will become the fastest-growing religion because of higher birthrates. While the fertility rate in southeast Asia is 2.1 children per adult woman, according to Pew, the fertility rate among Hindus in Pakistan is 3.2 children per woman.

Sources: World Religion News, Pew Research Center (2) / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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